6 Best Anime Streaming Platforms 2024

 

6 Best Anime Streaming Platforms 2024

Unlike 2023, which saw big upheavals in anime streaming, things have been relatively stable for the last year. Crunchyroll remains the most prominent anime platform for British viewers, with other new titles available from Netflix, Disney+, HIDIVE, and Amazon Prime but, sadly not ITVX. So let’s get to it…

Crunchyroll

As usual, Crunchyroll is streaming a very large chunk of recent TV broadcasts from Japan, offering some signs of what genres and titles are on the up. Carryovers from the previous season – running at least half a year – include Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End, an emotional saga about a female elf’s dealings with shorter-lived races, including humans. There’s the cheery fantasy game series Shangri-La Frontier, featuring a guy in a bird mask and the mighty Akio Ohtsuka as a warlord bunny. Plus the continuing adaptation of The Apothecary Diaries light novels.

New titles for January include One Piece, about to sail into a new story arc, “Egghead Island.” (This follows “Wano Country,” which occupied the characters for four years and nearly two hundred episodes). There’s more to say about One Piece – see under Netflix below. Then there’s a new anime adaptation of a major South Korean action strip, Solo Leveling, adapted by the studio A-1 Pictures. Inevitably MAPPA has a new show out, called Bucchigiri!? It’s a crazy-looking affair featuring thugs in school uniforms and a hero called Arajin, begging a genie to help him lose his cherry.

Studio Bones has a new SF show coming out, Metallic Rouge, with a broadly Blade Runner-ish sounding set-up as an android girl takes on dissident robots. There’s A Sign of Affection, about a college romance where one of the couple is deaf, and Delusional Monthly Magazine, set in a madcap fantasy world. If you fancy a harem in the snow, there’s the unblushingly-titled Hokkaido Girls Are Super Adorable!

Sengoku Youko is the new adaptation of a manga by Satoshi Mizukami (Planet With). As the title implies, it’s set in Japan at the time of its samurai “Warring States”, involving demons and humans. Another interesting-looking historical series is Meiji Gekken: 1874, branded a “Crunchyroll Original” and first announced back in 2020. It’s about a former swordsman after swords have been outlawed, who’s seeking his lost wife. Unlike some Crunchyroll Originals, this series is anime, made by the Tsumigi Akita Anime Lab.

As usual, there are a ton of fantasy titles, often involving characters slipping between realities. They include the delightfully-named Fluffy Paradise, Sasaki and Peeps, The Unwanted Undead Adventurer, The Wrong Way to Use Healing Magic, Villainess Level 99, Tales of Wedding Rings, The Foolish Angel Dances With the Devil, Doctor Elise: The Royal Lady With the Lamp and 7th Time Loop: The Villainess Enjoys a Carefree Life.

Darker fantasy fare is offered by Witch and the Beast, one of those shows where a supernaturally powered male-female couple heads into battle; it’s based on the manga by Kosuke Satake. Demon-human romance is foregrounded in The Demon Prince of Momochi House.

Then there are comebacks for older titles, including more mayhem in a magic London in the film Burn the Witch #0.8. The Mamoru Oshii-scripted mystery-fantasy The Fire Hunter is back for a second season, as are High Card, Tsukimichi Moonlight Fantasy and the gamer show Bottom-tier Character Tomozaki. Meanwhile, the educational competition of Classroom of the Elite heads into season three.

As of writing, the Funimation streaming platform continues to operate as a separate site, carrying its extensive library of anime up to 2022. That’s despite the parent Funimation Group making Crunchyroll its streamer of new episodes, and copying Funimation’s huge back catalogue to Crunchyroll as well.

Netflix

Netflix served up the surprise of the year in anime, or perhaps the two surprises of the year, both relating to One Piece. First, its live-action version of the series, widely predicted to be a disaster, was instead embraced by fans and critics when it dropped on 31st August, leading to a second season being confirmed a fortnight later. Then in December, it was announced that Netflix would also stream a brand-new One Piece anime, called The One Piece, which would wind the story back to the start and be animated by the Wit Studio.

It makes sense; a fresh start for anime viewers who aren’t inclined to watch episodes from nearly a quarter-century ago (the Toei series began in 1999). Whether either the Wit anime or the second live-action series will make it to Netflix in 2024 is unconfirmed, but it seems quite possible.

Netflix’s other recent anime landmarks included a lavish eight-hour version of Pluto, Naoki Urasawa’s epic set in the world of Osamu Tezuka’s Astro Boy, but with a sensibility nearer Urasawa’s mystery-thriller Monster. Soon after, Netflix dropped Scott Pilgrim Takes Off, perhaps the smoothest-ever adaptation of an American franchise to anime. The Science Saru studio made an impeccably faithful version of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s indy comics, while the English-language version was packed with actors from the live-action film, all reprising their roles. The story (co-written by O’Malley) was a light-hearted “Rebuild” with Scott himself booted out of the story in part one… though perhaps not for good.

Netflix’s upcoming titles include the January 4 debut of the new culinary/fantasy series, Delicious in Dungeon, animated by Studio Trigger. Then from January 15, it’ll stream Maboroshi, also known as Alice and Therese’s Illusory Factory. That’s a new feature film, written and directed by the prolific Mari Okada and animated by MAPPA, set in a “town frozen in time.” Okada has written dozens of anime over the decades, but this seems to be only her second film director credit, following the 2018 fantasy tear-jerker Maquia.

Looking further ahead, Netflix will stream Rising Impact, based on a Shonen Jump golf manga by Nakaba Suzuki (The Seven Deadly Sins), with the two seasons dropping in June and August. Netflix will also stream the CG mecha miniseries Gundam: Requiem of Vengeance, set in the timeframe of the original Gundam. For a very different CG anime, we’re awaiting the third and last season of Studio Orange’s Beastars, three years after Season Two.

2023 should also see Netflix release a new film (name unconfirmed) by Studio Colorido and director Tomotaka Shibayama, who made the 2020 cat transformation film A Whisker Away. The Wit studio is preparing a sci-fi anime called Moonrise, written by Tow Ubukata (Mardock Scramble). As for franchise titles that Netflix must be hoping will be big, there’s a new anime of the Devil May Cry Capcom games, and Production I.G’s take on The Terminator.

Disney+

As of writing, Disney’s big venture is Dragons of Wonderhatch, an extremely unusual project. Its story moves between anime and live-action worlds, as well as plenty of CG effects. The live-action features Japanese characters (and actors) while the anime sequences are created by Production I.G. The story is familiar fare, with a schoolgirl meeting a boy from an animated world of dragons, but the series was reportedly five years in development. The first episodes are streaming as of writing.

There’s not been much word on Disney+’s other announced titles – for instance, it dropped a preview trailer for an anime of Junta Shima’s manga Murai in Love more than a year ago, but there’s been nothing yet. Perhaps it’s related to the manga’s subject matter – it’s about a boy who fixates on his female teacher and sets out to be her perfect man. We’re also still waiting for Project Bullet/Bullet, a new anime by South Korea’s Sung Hoo Park, who directed God of High School and the first season and film of Jujutsu Kaisen.

 

Itvx

ITVX had a large range of titles from Anime Limited on a one-year trial, but that came to an end on New Year’s Eve, and until someone pushes a button somewhere, the channel’s claim to have “anime” currently seems to amount to a copy of Ghost in the Shell!

Hi dive

HIDIVE continues to pick up a few new anime titles for streaming, including the ongoing fantasy/action series Ragna Crimson; this winter’s resumption of the new Urusei Yatsura; and the genre spoof Gushing Over Magical Girls.

The platform’s recent additions include one of the hottest anime series of the year, the outrageous pop/reincarnation saga Oshi no Ko, along with Helck and The Vexations of a Shut-in Princess. HIDIVE’s back-catalogue ranges from Maria Watches Over Us and Made in Abyss to loads of Lupin anime.

Prime video

Amazon Prime continues to stream the four “Rebuild” Evangelion films along with a few other titles, such as Redline, Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress and the likeably gentle series Irodoku: The World in Colours, about a future girl time slipping to present-day Nagasaki. Plenty of other anime streams are available to buy individually, but there doesn’t seem to have been much action on the platform in the last year.

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